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30 May 2023

'Make in India' on fire, starring Big B


A huge fire gutted a stage at a cultural event in Mumbai on Sunday, which was part of the Indian government's much-trailed 'Make in India' week.

The massive blaze broke out shortly after Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan had read a poem at the event, which was being held on the popular Chowpatty beach in the south of India's commercial capital.

Thousands of people, including Maharashtra's chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, had to be evacuated after the fire started around 8:00 pm (14:30 GMT).

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis

There were no immediate reports of casualties.

"14 Fire engines, 10 Water Tankers, and all Sr. Fire Officers are on site. Fire now totally under control. Program called off," Fadnavis tweeted around 9:15 pm.

"Very unfortunate occurrence of fire in cultural program organised by GoM at Mumbai. No casualties reported, no one is injured," he added.

He said the "venue was evacuated immediately" and that "a comprehensive inquiry into the incidence of fire will be conducted to ascertain reasons".

Deputy commissioner of Mumbai police Dhananjay Kulkarni also said there were no reports of any casualties.

Pics: Getty Images

The event was celebrating Maharashtra culture as part of India's 'Make in India' week, which is aimed at attracting investment to the country and is running in the western city of Mumbai from February 13 to 18.

"Initially we thought it (the flames) were part of the performance, then we realised it wasn't part of the plan," Prasoon Joshi, an Indian lyricist who was at the event, told NDTV news channel.